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Page last updated at 07:13 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 08:13 UK

Streets calm in riot-hit Mongolia

Soldiers patrol Ulan Bator's main square on 2 July 2008
The justice minister said fewer troops were patrolling Ulan Bator

The streets of the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator, are reported to be calm, two days after rioting that left five people dead.

The situation had stabilised, the justice minister said, and police had replaced troops on the streets.

A state of emergency remains in place in the wake of the violence which erupted on Tuesday night.

Thousands of people took to the streets to demonstrate against alleged fraud in Sunday's general election.

Preliminary results give the ruling Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) a comfortable win.

Opposition supporters allege the poll was rigged, although international monitors say it was free and fair.

Map

A spokesman for the General Election Committee also rejected claims of fraud.

"The election was organised well and by law. It was really fair," Purevdorjiin Naranbat told the French news agency AFP.

"Some people did not accept that their candidates lost. We counted again and again but it was still the same result so there is nothing wrong."

The MPRP won 47 of the 76 seats in parliament, he told the agency, while the opposition Democratic Party won 26.

"I am sure this is the final result," he said.

Rare violence

On Thursday morning the capital was quiet and fewer troops were to be seen, reports said.

"The situation has stabilised and there is no immediate danger of violence so armed forces have been removed from strategic positions and have been replaced by police," Justice Minister Tsend Munkhorgil told AFP.

A man burns a car on 1 July 2008
Rioters set cars and buildings alight in Ulan Bator

Wednesday saw a heavy troop presence in Ulan Bator in the wake of Tuesday's late-night riots.

Protesters torched cars and buildings in the capital, and widespread looting was reported.

Five people died and more than 300 were injured, Mr Munkhorgil said. Several hundred arrests were made and a four-day state of emergency was imposed.

It was a rare outbreak of violence in Mongolia, which borders China and Russia.

Frustration over the election was exacerbated by tensions over corruption and a growing rich-poor divide, correspondents say.


SEE ALSO
Fatal clashes in Mongolia capital
02 Jul 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Mongolia calls state of emergency
01 Jul 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Mongolia votes in key elections
29 Jun 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Pollution chokes Ulan Bator skies
19 Feb 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Mongolia's prime minister quits
08 Nov 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Post-communist Mongolia's struggle
11 Jan 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Mongolia
23 Jun 08 |  Country profiles

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